Sleepless

I’m not sleeping much. I keep waking to a sharp clarity at 4am or thereabouts. It’s a non-specific kind of clarity. Not the kind that brings answers, but rather the kind that makes the room feel brighter than can be explained away as moonlight. I turn away from the window. I put my hands over my eyes, but the light isn’t really the problem.

I try to fight it, knowing it will have a price later- yet more of the same brain haze I’ve been grappling with for the last three years. I keep waiting for the fog to lift, but it hasn’t yet.

I can’t explain it. The months leading up to Tariku’s adoption were nearly as sleepless as the ones that followed it, yet I remember them as being fantastically inventive and engaged. Maybe the most alive I’ve ever felt creatively. Since returning from Africa, I search too long for words. I find it hard to follow anything but the most linear narrative. I can’t remember names of favorite books, of friends’ spouses I’ve met time and time again. It’s unlike me.

Somehow, these recent early mornings have been as close as I’ve come to reclaiming something recognizable of my brain function. 4am is too early to go for a run. Too quiet to start banging dishes around. Too precious to start in with the emails. So I make some tea, go to the upstairs den, open the shutters that face east and I read as the sky shifts from black to cobalt. A few days ago I moved the coffee table and I unfolded Anne Carson’s Nox along the carpet. Yesterday, I sunk into Bolaño’s Tres. Maybe it’s the unchallenged quality of that particular early morning solitude, but it seems I’ve found a brief window during which I have my attention back. Of course, the pendulum swings the other direction and I pay for it with bleary afternoons. For now, I’ll take it.

2 Responses to 'Sleepless'

  1. Anna says:

    Wow – this post may be some of your best and most enlightening writing yet. Beautiful.

  2. faith says:

    I thought the same thing as Anna. Some kind of creative juices are flowing through you..even if at 4 am. Maybe you should start writing then and take a nap when you usually work during the day. Take it when you can! If you haven’t already, talk to some of your friends who have older kids..ones that may have advice for you about never finding that person you were before you became a Mother. That person does not exist anymore. Next,you have to acknowledge who is born of that experience in this moment, this part of your life. Who are you now? When do you find creative hours in the day or night? It might not be the same as it was. If it isn’t you are searching in vain..and what a waste of time that is. Time you certainly don’t have with a four year old. This part of your life will go by so fast. I know you hear this a lot. However, the moment when your children have moved out and its just you and your husband left with silence and “time” will be here in a blink of an eye. You are right to savor it. Perhaps a book of “short stories” will come from the short amount of creative time you have now. I will personally look forward to it:)

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